As it moves from customer sampling towards full-scale commercialisation of its products, Applied Graphene Materials plc has reported positive preliminary findings from trials that could potentially open up yet more markets for the innovative Teesside firm.
The company, which produces high purity graphene nanoplatelets for use across a wide range of applications, brought in independent coatings experts to conduct performance testing on graphene-reinforced polyurethane coatings.
Although the extensive test programme is still continuing, the initial results demonstrate that low loading levels of AGM’s graphene nanoplatelets substantially enhance the scratch resistance and ultimate tensile strength of a polyurethane clearcoat, with minimal impact on transparency or colour.
Polyurethane coatings are used in a wide range of industries, including automotive, aircraft and general industrial coatings, potentially opening up a number of new applications for AGM’s graphene.
Chief executive Jon Mabbitt said: “We are delighted with the progress that has been achieved.
“The results confirm our own research findings and indicate that these results can be translated to higher volume applications.
“With a scalable manufacturing process and a strong supporting technical team within Applied Graphene Materials, we are well placed to help our customers apply and exploit graphene in their end products and markets.”
AGM was founded by Professor Karl Coleman in 2010, its operations and processes being based on technology he initially developed at Durham University.
The group was admitted to AIM in November 2013, raising £11m, and is based at the Wilton Site on Teesside.
News of the test results comes shortly after the release of the company’s interim results for the six months ended January 31, which showed AGM’s EBITDA loss had widened from £0.8m the previous year to £1.8m.
The company’s loss before tax likewise grew from £1.2m to £1.9m, while its cash at bank dropped from £9.9m to £6.6m.
However, the half-year also represented a record period as far as customer sampling was concerned, generating encouraging early stage feedback.
AGM has now established a presence in all target markets as it looks to expand production.
It will share the findings of its test programme with coatings industry partners and others at the European Coatings Show in Nuremburg, between April 21 and April 23.